the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Wash, and be clean.”
2 Kings 5:1-14
2 Kings 5:1
In every lot there is a crook; no man can be described without a “but.” Naaman’s “but” was one which embittered his life, for his disease was loathsome, deadly, and incurable.
2 Kings 5:3
Who knows how this girl came to know of the prophet of the true God? Perhaps a holy mother had made her familiar with the true faith and its ministers. Mothers cannot tell where their children may be cast in after years; they ought therefore to prepare them for every contingency by storing their minds with the truth of God.
2 Kings 5:4
Naaman was a kind master, for all his servants took an interest in him: it is very pleasant when each one of the family seeks the good of the rest. Masters should care for the good of their servants, and servants should make their masters’ interests their own.
2 Kings 5:6
This was an error. The poor idolatrous king could do nothing.
2 Kings 5:7
He was alarmed, and feared that his powerful neighbour sought a pretext for another war.
2 Kings 5:9
Full of pomp and pride.
2 Kings 5:10
To cure Naaman of pride Elisha did not come out to him personally, but sent him a simple message.
2 Kings 5:11
He wanted rites and ceremonies, as many do now.
2 Kings 5:12
Just as those do who neglect the great gospel command, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” and go about to find out a way of being saved by their own doings, or by priestly ritual.
2 Kings 5:13
Good reasoning this! If Jesus had said to us, “Go on pilgrimage and be saved,” we would have traversed the world; shall we not obey him when he says, “Believe and live?”
2 Kings 5:14
God is always as good as his word, but he will have us obey him. Faith will save us; but if we will not believe neither shall we inherit eternal life. How is it with each one of us? Have we washed in Jesus’ blood or no?
“He that speaketh lies shall perish.”
2 Kings 5:15-27
2 Kings 5:15
Gratitude was in the stranger’s bosom, he was not like those who receive great benefits and then go away to forget the giver. His gratitude prompted him to reward the prophet as well as to praise his Master.
2 Kings 5:16
He wished Naaman to see that he was not like the mercenary priests who swarmed around him. Freely he had received, and freely he gave. From others Elisha received presents, he only declined in this case because he saw it to be best.
2 Kings 5:17
Did he want this earth to make an altar with, according to the law? We may suppose so, but we cannot be sure.
2 Kings 5:18
His faith was very weak, and he wanted some indulgence in a matter which would involve his position at court. It was a wrong request, and was passed over in silence. It may be that in due time Naaman outgrew all fear, and became as decided for Jehovah as we could wish to have seen him at the first.
2 Kings 5:20
How profane to mix up the name of the Lord with his covetousness and falsehood. A man may live with a prophet, and yet be no better than he should be.
2 Kings 5:22
Wilful falsehood, every word of it!
2 Kings 5:23 , 2 Kings 5:24
What benefit could these things be when he had to hide them away and leave them. Men lose their souls to get for themselves goods which are a trouble to them.
2 Kings 5:25
One lie requires another to support it. The beginning of falsehood is as the breaking out of fire; no one knows where it will end.
2 Kings 5:27
God in infinite mercy forbid that any one of us should provoke him by untruth. Liars are not in these days punished with leprosy, but they will at the last have their portion in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: who can contemplate such a doom without trembling?
Since lying lips and all deceit
Are hateful in thy sight,
From crooked ways, Lord, keep my feet,
For truth is my delight.